There’s no doubt about it, there’s a learning curve to life. When my oldest received his driver’s license a couple of weeks ago, I tried to walk him through all the scenarios he would have to deal with as a new driver. I even talked about how to fill up the car. Well, that fateful day came—a near empty tank. He came home so proud, having filled the car up without a hitch. And I thought nothing more about it.
The next day my husband had to take the car into work. On his drive home the check-engine light came on. I don’t think there’s an indicator on a vehicle I hate more. A check-engine can mean anything from it’s-not-that-big-of-a-deal to a financial catastrophe—and right at the start of the holidays. Ugh!
We take the car down to an auto store that will check your vehicle’s computer for free. All the while I’m wringing my hands, figuring the diagnosis will be bad, bad, bad.
“The only thing popping up is a missing gas cap,” says the man reading his computer screen.
“Gas cap?” I look at my oldest son who was also with us. “Did you not put the gas cap back on when you filled up the tank?”
“I did, I did.” He swears following me back out to the car.
I pull back the lid where the gas goes in. The cap is there, but when I twist it, I feel how loose it is. “Jeez, you have to make sure the cap is tight when you put it back on. See how it clicks when it can’t go any tighter?”
My son’s “oh” and embarrassed flush made all of us laugh, and I realized something. It really is impossible to not make silly mistakes like this along the way in life. That darn curve of learning ensures we will mess up with new experiences simply because we’ve never done it before. It doesn’t mean I won’t be calling my son “gas cap” for the next couple of months. Ah…it’s moments like these that make being a mom so fun.